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20 Best Winter Events in Brisbane 2017

Home > Brisbane > Music | Free | Food and Wine | Festivals | Family | July | Lists
by Geraldine Massey (subscribe)
I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
Published May 24th 2017
Free, family, foodie, frozen or festival fun this winter
Brisbane, with its temperate climate, usually clear winter skies and fabulous outdoor spaces is the ideal place for winter events, festivals and community get-togethers. Whether it's about culture, food, drinks, sport or kids winter in Brisbane is jam-packed full of fun for everyone. So get out in the winter sunshine or crisp winter evening air or find a festive refuge indoors and enjoy one of these great events from June to August 2017.

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Brisbane at night. Image by writer.

The following festivities are listed in date order:


1. Brisbane Racing Carnival
Eagle Farm Racecourse
13 May to 10 June
Recommended for: fashionistas, gamblers, horse fanciers


A day at the races is a great day when sport, fashion and fun join forces for Brisbane's winter racing season. Various entry packages are available ranging from $35 general admission to $735 for admission to The Birdcage.

Remaining Dates
Saturday May 27 Darley Kingsford Smith Cup
Saturday June 3 Ladies Oaks Day
Saturday 10 June Stradbroke Day

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Image from Customs House website

2. Absolut Igloo Bar
Customs House
18 May to 31 August

Recommended for: adults, cold-blooded Brisbaneites, vodka lovers

This wintry pop-up bar in Brisbane promises pop-up igloos and twinkling night-time views of the river, but there won't be any ice or snow in sight. It's still Brisbane, after all. Bunker down with cocktails and warming winter food. It's on Thursdays to Sundays throughout winter. Read the full article here.


3. Marvel: Creating the Cinematic Universe
GOMA, South Bank
27 May to 3 September
Recommended for: pop culture enthusiasts, kids, families


In an Australian exclusive GOMA hosts this exhibition of the artwork behind the films: the work of comic artists, production designers, storyboarding and pre‑visualisation artists, costume and prop designers, and visual effects artists. Read the full article here.

The exhibition is also supported by Marvel film screenings at GOMA's Australian Cinémathèque. Read the full article here.


4. By the River With Jazz and Food Trucks
Newstead House
4 June, 2 July & 6 August
Recommended for: foodies, families, beer lovers, jazz aficionados


During winter this food and jazz event moves to the first Sunday of each month. It's a family friendly, relaxing event with great food, beer and music in the picturesque grounds of Newstead House. Entry is FREE. Read the full article here. Check the Facebook page here for full details closer to each event.

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Image from Doo-Bop Jazz Bar Facebook page

5. Doo-Bop Jazz Bar
101 Edward Street, Brisbane
Opens 17 June
Recommended for: jazz enthusiasts


It's been a while in the making but the long-awaited Doo-Bop Jazz Bar will be bringing jazz to downtown Brisbane from 17 June. Named for the last studio album recorded by jazz great, Miles Davis, it's home to a brasserie by day/ piano bar & restaurant by night, and the Basement for live jazz and meals. Bookings need to be made for The Basement's special events and with a lineup that already includes the Mal Wood Quartet, the Ingrid James Trio, and Katie Noonan and Zac Hurren, you should book online here now.


6. Gladiators: Heroes of the Colosseum
Queensland Museum, South Bank
23 June to 28 January
Recommended for: history lovers, kids, families


Queensland Museum's next major exhibition is an Australian exclusive. Find out the reality behind the myth of the gladiators, Rome's ultimate athletes and warriors, with fascinating artefacts from seven Italian museums and fun, interactive exhibits. Read the full article here. The exhibition also includes After Dark events for adults only and Night at the Museum events especially for kids.


7. Lifeline Bookfest
Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre, South Bank
24 June to 2 July
Recommended for: bookworms, hobbyists


Brisbane's favourite biannual book sale is back in its mid-year outing to help you add to your collections. The selection of pre-loved books, comics, classic and modern board games, DVDs, CDs, puzzles, magazines and vinyl records will take you hours to pore over. Read the full article here.


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Image from Snow4Kids Facebook page

8. Snow4Kids
South Bank Piazza, South Bank Parklands
24 June to 9 July
Recommended for: kids, young-at-heart, snow lovers


You can introduce the kids to real snow at this special winter school holiday event. They can enjoy snowman building or two snow mountains complete with toboggan slopes and snowball throwing. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Tickets are available ($25 per child for the park and $15 per child for snowman making) online here. FAQs explaining conditions and ticket types are online here.


9. Disney on Ice: Frozen
Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Boondall
29 June to 2 July
Recommended for: ice skaters, kids, families, Disney enthusiasts


All your Frozen favourites will be skating into Boondall this June. Anna, Elsa, Olaf and Kristoff will be joined on the ice by Disney princesses and other Disney characters from Toy Story, Finding Nemo and more. Book tickets online here. They range in price upwards from $35.


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Image from Teneriffe Festival website.

10. Teneriffe Festival
Vernon Terrace, Teneriffe
1 July
Recommended for: families, foodies, music lovers, beer lovers


One of Brisbane's most popular grass-roots community festivals, Tenefiffe Festival celebrates what's great about this pocket of Brisbane with everything from live bands, craft beer and sheep shearing to the Brisbane Cheese markets and new night markets for this year. The event runs from 10am to 9pm and entry is $2 for those aged 12 and over. Check the website here or Facebook page here for more details closer to the event.


11. Winter Harvest Festival Scenic Rim
Aratula Community Sports Centre
1 July
Recommended for: families, foodies


Billed as a celebration of food, wine and farmers in the Scenic Rim this one day festival is a part of Eat Local Week. You can meet the producers, watch cooking demonstrations and feast from the Scenic Rim's smorgasbord of fresh produce.


12. Good Food Month
Various venues around Brisbane
1 to 31 July
Recommended for: foodies, families


Brisbane becomes the culinary capital of Australia when Good Food Month comes back for its fourth Brisbane appearance.This year the list of events and foodie specials from a huge range of your local cafes and restaurants will be bigger than ever, including everyone's favourite, the Night Noodle Markets at South Bank. The full program is not available yet so check back to the website here closer to the date.


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Image from Le Festival Facebook page

13. Le Festival: Brisbane French Festival
South Bank
7 to 9 July
Recommended for: Francophiles, foodies, culture lovers, families


Brisbane's French community invites you to rendezvous in South Bank for this annual celebration of all things French. French markets, French food, French entertainment and French hospitality will be the order of the day so don your beret, work up an appetite and become French for a day. Tickets booked online here are only $5 (50% off the price at the gate). Visit the website here and the Facebook page here for more information.


14. Abbey Medieval Festival
1 - 63 The Abbey Place, Caboolture
8 & 9 July
Recommended for: history buffs, history re-enactors, families, kids


Hear ye! Hear ye! History comes to vivid life every year in Caboolture. Jousting tournaments, falconry, medieval costumes, weapons, food and crafts will all be on display at this popular festival. There is a range of ticketing options online from a child day ticket for $13.50 up to a family weekend ticket for $92. Tickets can be booked online here. See the website here for more details.


15. Regional Flavours
South Bank Parklands
15 & 16 July
Recommended for: foodies, families


This is South Bank's highly popular annual FREE food and wine event. Described as 'Queensland on a plate' it's not just about the food. There'll also be kids activities, beer and wine, live music and celebrity chefs, as well as 80 gourmet stalls at the Regional Flavours Marketplace. Visit the website here to find out all about what's happening on this happening weekend.


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Image from Good Food Month website

16. Night Noodle Markets
Cultural Forecourt, South Bank
19 to 30 July
Recommended for: Street food lovers, foodies, families


Night Noodle Markets is the signature event of Good Food Month in Brisbane. Over the last few years, it has attracted a wide range of Asian food outlets and this year it returns to South Bank for a whole 12 days of Asian culinary artistry and a big community get-together under the lanterns. Entry is FREE. Full details of this year's participants have yet to be released so check the website here closer to the date.


17. Centenary Rocks! Festival
Rocks Riverside Park, Seventeen Mile Rocks
22 & 23 July
Recommended for: families, kids, old rockers, car enthusiasts


Sadly, this will be the last year for this friendly community festival. Saturday highlights are Casey Barnes, Tim Gaze & the Allstars and the Blues Brothers tribute band, as well as a fireworks finale. Entry is FREE. Sunday highlights are the Future Auto and Custom Creations car, bike and 4WD show, and Aussie rock legends Ross Wilson and Dragon. See the website here for full details.


18. Effervescence Champagne Festival
Spicers Hidden Vale
Grandchester, Lockyer Valley
11 to 13 August
Recommended for: champagne fanciers


Celebrate everything champagne at this seriously bubbly event in the beautiful Lockyer Valley. Australia's first ever champagne festival offers a decadent full-weekend VIP Package Starting at $2495 per person or the more modest but certainly fun Champagne Trail on Sunday 13 August ($120). read the full article here or check the website here for more details.


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Image from Ekka website

19. The Ekka
Brisbane Showgrounds, Bowen Hills
11 to 20 August
Recommended for: families, kids, ride enthusiasts, ice-cream lovers, show bag shoppers


Brisbane's annual agricultural show has been a firm family favourite since 1876. That means that 2017 is the show's 140th year. All your favourites will be back including the animal nursery, fashion shows, strawberry sundaes and wood chopping. See ticket prices here and book online here.

Check the website here or the Facebook page here for further information


20. Redcliffe KiteFest
Hornibrook Esplanade, Clontarf
26 & 27 August
Recommended for: families, kids, kite enthusiasts


Described as "the ultimate kids weekend", this colourful festival is the first salvo of the much bigger Redcliffe Festival, which itself runs until 10 September. The event includes displays by world-renowned kiters, a public kite-flying zone, kite-making workshops, markets, and musical performances. Full details of this year's event have not been released so check the website here closer to the date. Ticket prices range upwards from $5 for kids and can be purchased at the gate.

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Image from Redcliffe Festival website

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Why? Make the most of Brisbane's wonderful winter
When: Various dates throughout winter 2017
Where: Various venues across Brisbane
Cost: Ranges upwards from free entry. See article and individual websites for full details.
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